Colchester Continues to Improve Infrastructure through Grants & Capital Plans
Grant Money AwardedThe Town of Colchester has recently been awarded an additional $179,500 from a federal grant through the VTrans Bicycle and Pedestrian Program for a new sidewalk on Water Tower Hill. This brings the total grant funding for this project to $337,139. With an estimated total project cost of $477,086, approximately 71% of this project will be funded with grants. This sidewalk along Mountain View Drive on Water Tower Hill, is the second phase of a multi-phase plan to construct an inter-connected pedestrian network in and around the Exit 16 area. The sidewalk will:
- improve access and safety for pedestrians
- provide connecting points within the pedestrian network
- ultimately will provide direct access to the Town’s designated growth center
- facilitate alternative transportation opportunities for businesses, residences and schools
This project is ready to proceed and enjoys strong and widespread support.
Capital PlansThe Town of Colchester owns ten primary buildings that house important services to residents including police, rescue, vehicle maintenance, recreation, the library, and combined functions in Town Hall. Some of the buildings are quite old and without any dedicated funds for maintenance they began to deteriorate. Recognizing the need for a targeted budget for Town building upkeep, voters authorized the first Capital Facilities Plan in 2014. The Town saves in advance for most of our capital needs and avoids debt and interest payments. The Plan created no additional costs to taxpayers; funding came from restructuring the Capital Equipment Program. To date, approximately $500,000 has been invested in maintaining Town facilities.
The Town also has Capital Plans for:
- Park Capital
- Public Safety, including specialized equipment for Police, Rescue and Technical Rescue
- Radio Communications for Police, Public Works, Parks, Rescue, and Volunteer Fire Departments
- Information Technology (Town-department wide including telecom)
The plans allow us to leverage grant funds and contribute to the Town’s low 4.2% debt service ratio. (A 10% debt service is considered acceptable.) The Five Year Capital Budget Program is updated annually. This is being done now and it will be presented to the Selectboard at their November 8 meeting. A Program public hearing will be held on December 13. All Selectboard meetings are held in the Outer Bay Conference Room on the third floor of the Town Offices on Blakely Road.
For more information about the capital plan or the Public Works Department visit http://colchestervt.gov/publicworks or contact our Facility Manager, Robin Parry, at email@example.com or 264-5620.